Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
WINNECONNE (July 13, 2002)
WINNECONNE, Wis. — Clayton Reitz of Morton, Ill., topped 132 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Wolf River with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him $3,725 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Reitz caught his limit fishing the southern end of the Fox River. The catch topped second-place boater Clay Peterson of Madison Lake, Minn., by 1 pound, 1 ounce. Peterson finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce worth $1,862. Reitz also received a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program as well as a $1,000 bonus from GARMIN for using a fixed-mount GARMIN GPS/sounder.
Bob Matthies of Cicero, Ill., and Lynn Welles of Rosendale, Wis., each caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces to tie for third, netting each of them $1,006. Tied for fourth were Rick Bosshard of Sussex, Wis., and Jay Wollenberg of Pewaukee, Wis. Each caught five bass weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces worth $745.
Jeff Barth of Marshfield, Wis., earned boater big bass honors and $660 with a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass that he caught flipping a white rat to lily pads. He finished in 12th place overall with three bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces.
Jon Loewe of Hudson, Wis., claimed first place and $1,862 in the 132-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler David Ondrla of Elmhurst, Ill., by 2 pounds, 13 ounces thanks to a black and red Strike King tube that he was flipping to rocks. Ondrla finished with a four-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces worth $931.
Art Smith of Hector, Minn. (four bass, 7 pounds, 10 ounces, $559); Mike Blaesi of Donhue, Iowa (three bass, 6 pounds, 2 ounces, $447); and Brian Brecka of Alma, Wis., (two bass, 4 pounds, 14 ounces, $410) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Timothy Hill of Mukwonago, Wis., earned big bass honors and $330 in his division with a 3-pound, 14-ounce bass. He finished sixth with a two-bass catch weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces.
Overall, 16 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Mississippi River in Lacrosse, Wis., Aug. 10 for the fourth of five Great Lakes Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 14-15 on the Mississippi River, will be declared the Yamaha “Be the Best” Points Leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 Great Lakes Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition presented by Yamaha Oct. 15-19 on Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the Hoosier, Illini and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American — one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling.
2002 BFL awards could reach $7 million based on full fields.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, GARMIN, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.